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  •    That the South Fork is part of the greater metropolitan area rather than the rural place we used to think it was has become almost impossible to deny. You get the message from conspicuous consumption, both in the size and shape of many new houses and in the boutiques that have turned East Hampton’s Main Street into Madison Avenue East. But you also get the message by simply taking note of all the millions of special events you can participate in on any given jam-packed weekend.
        Take Saturday, for example.

  •    More than 43 million Americans are said to have traveled at least 50 miles to celebrate Thanksgiving, and among them were four members of our family, including two grandchildren, who live in Nova Scotia. Two other grandkids were in Tennessee visiting other relatives for the long weekend, but it was a grandmother’s dream come true, nevertheless, having so many gathered here at one time. The feast at our house, with 14 adults and seven kids — from 2 to 11 — was all that it’s supposed to be (at least according to Norman Rockwell).

  •    My gal pal and I spent almost the whole hour it takes us to walk from the Star office to Main Beach and back on Monday talking about — what else — food.  Not food in general, of course, but specific to our Thanksgiving tables.  

  •    How can any of us go about our daily lives as if nothing had happened? We learn to look away from, if not entirely ignore, human suffering in other parts of the world, but it ought not to be possible to act inured to disaster closer to home.

  •    Halloween will be celebrated on Saturday in Belmar, N.J. I suppose the Belmar kids will have a good time, regardless — better late than never, when it comes to kids and their candy. But it’s hard to imagine the grownups really putting their hearts into caramel apples or ghost lollipops, after all the losses suffered there.

  • Although voters undoubtedly are focused on the presidential candidates, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, whose names appear at the top of the ballot along with their vice-presidential running mates, the ballot has a long row of slots for many other candidates.
  •    How do you write a column when a bad hurricane is on its way . . . and your power is likely to go off before deadline time? You could try to write about something else, something light and humorous. (For instance, I’ve been planning to get a column out of my husband’s odd fascination with casseroles, and how he made one of his own creation that was so massive we had to freeze quarts of leftovers.) But with the tension in the air, and the gravity of what could possibly happen, such thoughts get blown away with the wind.

  •    Those of you who pay attention to what goes on over the East Hampton Town line have no doubt heard of Bridget Fleming, a Southampton Town councilwoman. Having now won a Democratic primary to run for the New York Senate, however, she has to think about name recognition.

  •     Mary Ellen Hannibal talked about her new book, “The Spine of the Continent,” in a Star interview in September. In it, she describes the effort by some 30 nonprofit organizations to recreate a 5,000-mile corridor for wildlife from Alaska through the Rocky Mountains to the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains in Mexico. She called it “the most ambitious wildlife project ever undertaken.”
        Two weeks later, in an Op-Ed piece in The New York Times, she wrote about biodiversity and the interconnectedness of living things.

  •    Do you remember “The Piano,” a film starring Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, and a girl named Anna Paquin? Described by Jane Campion, the filmmaker, as a “Gothic exploration of the romantic impulse,” it was a hit at the first Hamptons International Film Festival in 1993, and, as they say, the rest is history. A part of that history is Ms. Paquin, 11 at the time, winning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.